Pen Pal Program Returns

Pen Pal Program Returns
Monday, June 13, 2011 - 4:07pm

The UTEP Athletics Department is excited to announce that its Pen Pal program will return for the 2011-12 scholastic year. The program, which was recommended by the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), pairs Miner teams with elementary students from the region, state, nation and world.

The initiative proved to be successful during its first year (2010-11) of existence. Participating schools corresponded with student-athletes from a variety of UTEP teams. Being involved with the community is extremely important to UTEP Athletics, evidenced by Miner student-athletes performing close to 3,600 hours of community service during the 2010-11 academic year.

Elementary teachers who are interested in having their classes take part in the program for the upcoming year should contact Amelie Baryla or Stephanie Herrera from the UTEP Life Skills department at (915) 747-6203 or via e-mail at By signing up with this project, elementary classes will be paired up with a specific UTEP team. The teams will write about their experiences, both on and off the court, and other topics in their messages to the classes.

SAAC is a committee made up of Miner student-athletes to provide insight on the student-athlete experience. The SAAC also offers input on the rules, regulations and policies that affect student-athletes' lives on the UTEP campus. The program’s goal is to provide leadership opportunities for student-athletes and to identify areas of responsibilities for student-athlete leaders.

The functions of the SAAC are as follows:

* Promote communication between athletics administration and student-athletes.
* Disseminate information.
* Provide feedback and insight into athletics department issues.
* Generate a student-athlete voice within the campus athletic department formulation of policies.
* Build a sense of community within the athletics program involving all athletics teams.
* Solicit student-athlete responses to proposed conference and NCAA legislation.
* Organize community service efforts.
* Create a vehicle for student-athlete representation on campus-wide committees (e.g., student government).
* Promote a positive student-athlete image on campus

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